30 March 2007

My world champion crowning awaits

So I went for it...I've entered the Indoor Snow Kayaking World Championships that are taking place for the first time ever this weekend in the Netherlands.

Snow what you say?! Just picture some normal canoeist paddling around a lake or something. Then imagine the same canoeist in the same canoe hurtling down a ski slope.

Nope, there is no steering. Nope, there are no brakes. That's why I think I have a good chance and I'm genuinly going to give it my best shot. If I don't return victorious at least I should have some amusing photos and videos to post here next week.

I received an entry email last night so I'll leave a few quotes from it below for your entertainment:

"We have registerd 164 Gliders living in 10 different nations. It's a pleasure that many people want to come to this wonderfull event!" - I'm one of only two Brits!

"The participant is obliged to wear protection" - I don't think he means this kind of protection!

"The participant is obliged to wear a good helmet!" - See told you!

"Your fysic and mental statement need to be correct and you understand the risks of snowkayak and take the full responsibility for it." - my logic is that the bigger the beer belly, the more weight and potential energy to get me faster down the hill. I also state I am mental - is that correct enough a statement?!

"At last but not least: Think of your own healthy! Materials are replacable, your health isn't." - OK ok, I get the picture......but I have one last thing to say......

Cannon Ball!!!

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A breath of fresh AIR

Tuesday night I went to the Melkweg to see AIR, the French band with the Disco Queen. Apart from the fact that the two front men where a couple of miserable so and so's, I quite enjoyed the night. It was quite impressive to see how many instruments the 5 guys needed to make the sounds they do. At one point I counted 18 keyboards! It was also great to hear their older stuff from my favourite album - Moon Safari. But I was a little surprised that there wasn't such big cheers for songs from the latest album. Don't think I'll shell out the cash for that one...

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Quick! Clean the flat, the parents are coming...

The weekend after I returned from Whistler, my parents popped over for their first visit. I thankfully recruited Emma to come over at the same time to assist in the duties and was greatly appreciated! Especially as just shy of 3 years, it was the first time Emma had met my parents. But it seemed to go well and I think a good weekend was had by all?!

Everyone arrived on Thursday and whilst I went to work on Friday, the first bonding session was had by everyone else sightseeing around the city. Anne Franks house and the flower market to be precise.

That evening we went to a restaurant called Moeders (Mothers) which was my treat for the pending mothers day. I think I won some brownie points there but we couldn't stay for the great puddings as for xmas I had actually got my parents tickets to see Jules Holland. So off they skipped to Paradiso whilst Emma and I got the beers in elsewhere.

Saturday morning was a lie in for all and by the time we made it out, we could only squeeze in the Van Gogh museum before the evenings plans unfolded. I booked food and a live jazz show afterwards at the Bimhuis. I lost brownie points here as the food was not the best but at least the band made up for it.

Last but not list was a very brief and insanely windy drive to the beach for a cuppa before my parents were safely on their flight back to Glasgow.

So to prove I can be a nice son sometimes, see the photos of the weekend below:

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The world wide Mathie clan

Another great thing about my trip to Canada was that I popped in on my cousin Craig, his wife Daniela and their great kids Andrew and Jordan. OK so I was a little selfish enjoying too much of a good time in Whistler to spend a great deal of time with them, but I did manage a couple of nights at the end of my trip. Daniella was kind enough to take some time off work to go sightseeing with me so we took a trip to Fort Langley. Then when the boys came home from school, Craig and I took them night skiing to Mount Seymour. It was miserable weather in the rain but a real good laugh with the kids. Andrew was lightening fast on the skis - he beat me in a race, admittedly I binned it at the end though whilst trying to show off! And Jordan had no fear on a snowboard for a someone who has only been once before. I look forward to my next trip out there when they'll be teaching me a thing or two...

Check out the pics - see it's not just this Mathie that has the good looks you know! ;-)

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Catskiing? More like the dogs boll....

By far the best time I have ever had on a snowboard was during my trip to Whistler. I joined Alex and a few of his mates from work on a catskiing trip. For just shy of 200 of the queens notes, you're taken up a mountain away from the crowds to snowboard in fresh snow all day long. And we totally lucked out on the conditions, perfect blue skies and fresh waist deep snow. Check the panorama video from the top of our first run:

It was amazing and something I'd recommend for every rider to do at least once. However, for my second go I would probably want something steeper and a cat full of just my friends to make it seem like better value. Swings and roundabouts though because any steeper with all that snow and there would've been more avalanches than the two small ones we set off! Don't worry Mum, the guides aborted that face so we were not in any more danger - safe as houses ;-)

Check out the great pics from my new camera below and be warned there's plenty of them!

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29 March 2007

Whistler life is like a box of chocolates...

So enough about work, it's time to get back to the play. My 3 week trip to Whistler in Canada was fantastic and I could easily write a huge long article here about it. I've already let three weeks pass since my return and too much waffle would send readers to sleep (some of it I'm sure would be along the lines of "you had to be there..."). Therefore, I've decided to summarise the trip with a few photos and let readers imaginations fill in the gaps:

First up was the luxurious sleeping arrangements the boys laid on for me, AKA Jamie's wardrobe ->

But then that was a better option than Alex's room otherwise I may have been woken up by some strange noises during the night. Not like this either ->

It was great to see Jamie and Alex again although they have changed quite a bit. For instance Alex seemed to enjoy dressing up as a penis ->

And Jamie was experimenting with the "Munters Gap" ->

Still we had some good nights out where Jamie fell in love with the Karaoke guy ->

Also where everyone bowed down to my pool and darts skills ->

At times followed by some fancy dancing techniques due to still wearing snowboard boots until the wee hours ->

It wasn't all drinking though, there was some hardcore snowboarding to be had ->

I even tried attaching one plank to each foot a couple of times ->

There was no avoiding some really stupid people though ->

The best day had to be the mountain pub crawl though. An alcoholic drink in every place on the two mountains that sells booze. There's 10 to be had which is not so bad when spread out across the whole day. As usual we were running a little behind schedule and so 3 drinks had to be downed in 1 to make the penultimate bar before it closed. I doubt I will ever snowboard so fast and so drunk ever again in my life. It was fantastic and here I am enjoying that penultimate beer before the ride down to the last bar ->

The whole 3 weeks was superb, I had a great laugh with some genuine people. So much fun that I never found time to shave ->

But at least my growth was not as bad as Jamie's ->

All thats left to say is a big thanks to the residents of 3110 Tyrol Crescent for putting up with me and I hope my photos are enjoyed in the slideshow below:

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23 March 2007

Not all managers are w@nk#r$!

When I started this blog I vowed I would never write anything about work on it. Cos lets be honest, all work and no play makes for a boring read. But I've decided to break that self imposed rule today as last night I was pretty damn impressed by the actions of my employer. I am probably legally not able to comment further but I was genuinely stoked to be employed by who I am.

I met some seriously big cheeses in the bar after work and hearing what they had to say made me appreciate the company I work for. The decisions these guys make and the logic they use was an eye opener. By seriously big cheeses, I mean conversations about 911's, S4's, M5's and houses in San Francisco, Zurich and Brussels to name a few. I was going to chip in with how much I loved my new diesel ford focus estate and moan at the price of rent in Amsterdam but I thought I'll shut up and just enjoy my free beer! But no-one was a w@nk#r and they are pretty bright kids who've got where they have through hard work. They're welcome to it though, I had as much free beer as I could get away with and toodled off home, happy to be where I am not taking the sh!t they do.

So I've been working like a dog recently and it's affected my outside of work time too. You can probably tell from the lack of Whereismal updates recently! My parents were here last weekend with Emma and I was knackered and a little quiet the whole weekend. But now I have a long weekend to put my feet up and catch up on zillions of things. But for now I'm off to repair a puncture on Betty, run a few errands and find a nice quite bar to sit in and watch the world go by. Such a nice feeling after the past few weeks/months :-)


14 March 2007

There's still chance for me to be a World Champion

Anyone fancy popping over for the indoor snow kayaking world championships? There's gotta be a chance in it for me surely?! And it's only about an hour from me...


Amsterdam by night

So before I post a zillion Whistler pictures I best catch up on some that I forgot to post before I left. The week before Whistler I went out on my bike and took the tripod that Emma got me for Christmas (thanks babe!) and took a few "Amsterdam by Night" shots. So I thought I'd share the best of the bunch here :-)

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Lech Tobogganing Video

So I did find time in Whistler to put together a short video of the Tobogganing carnage that I had with Matt, George, Rich, Ben and Zach in Austria a couple of weeks back. Read the original post here. It was certainly funnier and more painful than the video portrays!

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I'm back!

So I'm back alive from 3 fantastic weeks in Whistler. There's plenty of juice to add here later but I'll leave my favourite photo of me to wet whistles for now ->

My parents are coming to Amsterdam with Emma this weekend so I have a few things to do before I make time to update this blog with all the goodies. So pop back sometime next week...

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